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The light, soothing atmosphere created by the well-matched prayers and illustrations is deceptively simple, effectively...

An unusual, whimsical collection of 12 short prayers offers an imaginative approach with a patterned text and creative responses from the children narrating the prayers.

Each prayer follows a similar pattern, describing a particular circumstance or challenge familiar to young children (“if life is stormy”), followed by the child narrator’s imagined action (“I imagine I’m a tree, tossed and tumbled in the wind”). In alternating spreads, there is also a comforting response from God (“you show me how my roots are getting stronger”). This particular prayer is illustrated with a cutaway view of a tree’s roots extending deep into the ground, providing extensive support for the tree even though we can’t see it from our perspective. Throughout the collection, the first-person imagined personifications and responses from God are surprisingly sophisticated in their symbolism and imagery, while still being intellectually accessible to the intended audience. Moriuchi’s pleasing collage illustrations of chubby-cheeked children incorporate textured papers, fabrics and snippets of print along with painted elements. Creative type placement provides additional motion within the illustrations, with flowing text indicating the movement of wind or water.

The light, soothing atmosphere created by the well-matched prayers and illustrations is deceptively simple, effectively conveying powerful images and a strong sense of comfort. (Picture book/religion. 3-6)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7459-6208-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lion/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Though the rhyme tumbles and at times bumbles, enticing imagery will lure readers in.

Rhyming text and colorful multicultural illustrations reassure young readers of God’s omnipresence and still small voice.

“Where in the world is God’s voice found?” Perhaps in ocean waves, bird song, or mountain vistas, suggest the couplet rhymes. Even when readers might be faced with difficult emotions and distractions of all kinds, the text reassures them that God is still there and still speaking, if only one pauses to listen. His voice can be found in nature, in starlight, in the love of family and friends, in dreams, and “through His Word.” Admirably, the bright illustrations, reminiscent of mid-20th-century Disney artist Mary Blair’s stylings, depict children and families with a diverse array of skin tones and ages. There is also a refreshing mix of urban, suburban, and rural settings. Yet, despite the appealing illustrations, the rhymes and scansion are often forced (“your feelings, they matter, / even if they’re all mixed up like / pancake batter”), which detracts from the overall message. Contrived couplets notwithstanding, this title will likely find an audience among Christian households seeking reassuring bedtime reads.

Though the rhyme tumbles and at times bumbles, enticing imagery will lure readers in. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-65385-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Charming and joyous but not for the uninitiated.

Preparing for the Friday night Shabbat ceremony and meal is a joyous expression of faith and tradition.

Shabbat is the most important ritual observance in Judaism, beginning on Friday night at sundown and lasting until Saturday night at sundown. It is a day of prayer and rest, an abstention from all forms of work. “Shabbat Shalom, Hey” is a song that children sing in anticipation of Shabbat, and here, the song lyrics are the only text. The slight tale is told solely via the illustrations, which are viewed by turning the book vertically. Bright color blocks surrounded by white provide the backgrounds. A lion states the Sabbath greeting and is startled to hear a response of “Hey!” from a toucan peeking over the top edge of the frame. Repeating the greeting elicits the same response from a monkey and a snake, this time at the bottom edge. The lion continues his greetings with increasing levels of excitement until the other creatures join in with him, bringing the traditional accouterments of the Shabbat dinner in the form of candlesticks, a wine goblet and the traditional braided bread called challah. It is lively and entertaining, but it presumes an audience that knows the traditions. A recording of the song can be downloaded via QR code on the back of the book.

Charming and joyous but not for the uninitiated. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4677-4917-6

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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